Synopsis: With his first English-language film, beloved Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai's touch loses none of the seductive luster and magic that made his Chinese films so popular. MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS follows the fortunes of Elizabeth (Norah Jones), who after having been left by her boyfriend, sets out across America to find herself and recover. She makes a stop in Memphis, where she pulls double-duty at a diner by day and a bar at night, and watches the disintegration of another pair of troubled lovers (David Strathairn and Rachel Weisz). She moves on to Nevada where she befriends a vivacious card player and smalltime hustler (a delightfully saucy Natalie Portman) who challenges her notions of contentment. However, it is New York City and the arms of an English café owner (Jude Law) for which Elizabeth's heart truly longs and ultimately returns.
While MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS isn't Wong's best film--as it suffers from some clunky, heavy-handed dialogue and some frustratingly broad performances--it still contains all of the hallmarks of his aesthetic, and is therefore hard not to fall for. The film is undeniably beautiful, and features the director's trademark visual sense: shimmering neons, lush chiaroscuro, and swirling slow-motion images. It makes for a seductive view of America, one populated by swaggering, yet deeply melancholic drifters that listen to Otis Redding and Ruth Brown, drink too much, and love even more. The sadness and tears that emerge from America's taverns in the wee hours are as breathtakingly alluring as its natural landscapes. In Wong's hands, everything is cast in the light of joy-life and death, suffering and happiness-and the same goes for his understanding of America. Whether this America ever existed is wholly irrelevant; for when you watch a Wong movie, you happily enter his country, wherever that may be.
Starring: Norah Jones, Jude Law, David Strathairn
Directed by: Kar-Wai Wong